Development Of Monitoring System That Tracks Vehicle’s Current Location

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The centralised fleet management system helps car rental operators to maintain efficiency in delivery with timely return of the vehicle

Representational image (www.alpsalpine.com)

Due to fewer households owning a car, especially younger age groups and also to avoid public transportation in the wake of the recent pandemic, more people than before are using rental services. It is expected that the rental car market will grow in the future.

But although this is likely to happen, car rental operators today frequently have to deal with vehicles being returned late without notice, or in some cases, not being returned at all. A car not returned on time impedes preparations to receive it, while an unreturned vehicle requires investigation, coordination with waiting customers, and other adjustments, affecting operational efficiency. There is a need to manage this situation with even greater efficiency, but concerns remain on the issues getting worse.

To solve this problem, a Location Monitoring System has been developed by Alps Alpine that packs together vehicle positioning application, mobile devices containing the application and a location management console to enable deployment of centralised fleet management at low cost.

Delivers Real-Time Data

The newly developed system makes use of a special-purpose mobile device equipped with a vehicle positioning application that is lent to the user along with the car. Rental operators can check the real-time location of multiple cars currently in use within a digital map view on a location management console. By inputting the scheduled return time, the console displays pop-up notifications both before and at the scheduled time to remind administrators that preparations must be made for the vehicle’s return.

Meanwhile, to help prevent late returns, an automated message is sent to the mobile device in the user’s possession urging them to return to the rental outlet, having calculated from the car’s current location the time required to reach the outlet by the designated hour.

The solution reduces the costs that customers incur to introduce such a system and it can be deployed immediately after purchase. Navigation app “ALPINE SmartX,” is a standard inclusion in the package.

Further Plans

Moving forward, Alps Alpine looks to make progress on new service proposals revolving around data analysis, such as reporting on vehicle operation and identification of relevant topics utilising vehicle location data and linked time and schedule information. The company will also explore other areas, including automation of maintenance features making use of a variety of data from sensors fitted to vehicles.

The product has been planned to be released this month to car rental operators.


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